Knee Pain… made worse by squatting or walking down stairs

January 26, 2012



The patella, commonly referred to as the “knee cap”, acts as a pulley system to transmit power from the upper leg (thigh bone) to the lower leg (shin bone). Normally, as the knee bends, the patella slides smoothly along a groove in the thigh bone. However, under certain conditions the patella may experience forces that push it against the sides of the groove, causing pain. Additionally, inflammation and roughening of the smooth underside of the patella may occur. Collectively, this process is referred to as Patellofemoral Syndrome (PFS) and it is responsible for knee pain.

Patellofemoral Syndrome (PFS) is one of the most common causes of knee pain in runners. The pain is usually located in the front part of the knee, but it may be on the inside, outside, or vaguely located. Knee pain can feel either sharp or dull, and is often made worse by squatting or walking down stairs. Knee pain is also sometimes accompanied by grinding or clicking sounds. Predisposing factors to Patellofemoral Syndrome (PFS) include; biomechanical abnormalities such as overpronation, “knock knees” or poor pelvic control, muscle tightness and weakness.

At Footcare Place Toronto, treatment for knee pain includes:

  • Pain management with anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Physical therapies such as rest, ice, ultrasound or heat therapy.
  • Taping, which can supply immediate relief from knee pain. It can also help to correct abnormal positioning of the patella.
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises that can help to re-balance the patella, also leading to relief from knee pain.
  • Custom-made orthotics that can eliminate knee pain by addressing the underlying biomechanical abnormalities that have caused it. This approach is focused on the long-term treatment of knee pain.
  • Phototherapy, which employs light energy to penetrate beneath the skin to the patellofemoral joint, accelerates cellular processes to trigger intense healing and relief from knee pain. This, in conjunction with custom-made orthotics, is the basis for the restoration of proper knee function, healing, long-term relief and ongoing prevention of knee pain.
Posted in Conditions